Saturday, November 9, 2013

Writer's Tools - Part 11

Contests is my topic this week and yes, they are a writing tool. Many contests provide feedback for your and it's not all positive. Ug! Not fun to get, but it does help you step back away from your work and help you to see the flaws.

However, if you get a good score or feedback, it will give you the confidenence to continue and seek publication!

There are many, many, many contests out there for any writing genre. I enter short story contests and romance contests. I have entered children's writing contests and 'general' contests. I've finaled in a few, received a nominal monetary award, a certificate or the feed back I needed on my story.

Entering contests is just like submitting to publishers. Don't send the first chapter of your mystery novel to a short story contest for literary fiction. THAT is setting yourself up for failure. Also, as with submissions, pay careful attention to the guidelines of the contest. You don't want your work to be disqualified because you didn't follow the directions.

Where do you find all of these contests? You can google them. Most organizations, like Romance Writers of America or SCBWI have contests that are open to members and non-members. Writing magazine's usually have a section listing contests in the back of the magazine. Once you start seeking out contests, you'll be amazed what you find out there!

In the past week, I've entered two contests for published romance author's, the Rita sponsered by the RWA and the Booksellers Best Award sponsered by an RWA chapter. The later contest is new to me, but it's judged by booksellers and librarians....good readers to get my books out too, right?

Contest entry fees can get expensive so really consider which contests will benefit you and your work before entering. If you're looking for feedback, make sure the contest rules say they send your scores and feedback to you at the end of the contest, many don't.

Do you enter or judge contests?

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